Wynn Jones: We have made some mistakes

CHRIS LAKEY Michael Wynn Jones says he accepts the Norwich City board of directors have made mistakes - but insists the current period of unrest could prove to be a watershed for the club.

CHRIS LAKEY

Michael Wynn Jones says he accepts the Norwich City board of directors have made mistakes - but insists the current period of unrest could prove to be a watershed for the club.

The joint majority shareholder - who is adamant that a new manager will be in place sooner rather than later - issued a rallying call after meeting with fans at a forum in Diss in which he and fellow directors were challenged on numerous occasions to explain how a club that was playing Premier League football three years ago could now find itself managerless and staring relegation to League One in the face.

“I think inevitably, in the situation we are in, people are going to want to look and say, 'why is it we are down here, what are we doing about it', and of course they are not happy,” he said. “Nobody is happy, the board least of all is happy.

“But this club can do it, it really can.

“We have to move forward now. This is a turning point, a watershed in the club. It is up to us as a board, but also the fans and their support - get behind the new manager and the team will turn it around, I know they will.”

Most Read

The criticism from the floor was almost relentless, covering the club's signing policies, the Academy, finances, tactics and, arguably the hottest subject of the night, the board's accountability.

It was criticism that Wynn Jones said the club would take on the chin.

“Yes - and they are right. You genuinely do your best and yes of course you make mistakes,” he said. “I think that as far as I am concerned the past 11 years have had their ups and downs - OK, we are about as far down as we can get at the moment, but we just have to turn it around.

“The only way to actually do these things, to instil confidence is to actually say it - we are going to do it. That is the starting point isn't it?”

The burning issue is clearly who will take over from Peter Grant, with Wynn Jones admitting the decision is vital to the club's future.

“We are doing it as fast as we can within the constraints,” he said. “We can't afford to get it wrong again. It won't be long, it really won't.

“We are going to get the best manager we possibly can. We have set criteria and what we are making absolutely sure is the candidate we pick fits that criteria. Of course, you have to look at the man as well as his track record and his reputation, you have to take that into account. You have to do due diligence on managers - in a sense that takes time and we have to do it properly, we have to approach clubs in the right way, that takes time as well, and we're conscious of the frustration of supporters.

“It is a fortnight, but it really, really won't be much longer.

“You have to find a distinction between finding a manager on the hoof - if that happens you get into a situation like Leicester - that's the last thing we want. The other extreme is it drags on forever and important games go by - we have to find the answer between those two.”

Wynn Jones also answered criticism that he and wife Delia Smith had created a board which they dominated and that their conversion of loans to shares did not help the club.

“It sounds as if we have shares because we are crazy for power,” he said. “We have no more than one vote each on the board - every decision has been made by the board, not us.”